Capturing complexity in the evaluation of a major area-based initiative in community empowerment:what can a multi-site, multi team, ethnographic approach offer?

Orton, L. and Ponsford, R. and Egan, M. and Halliday, E. and Whitehead, M. and Popay, J. (2019) Capturing complexity in the evaluation of a major area-based initiative in community empowerment:what can a multi-site, multi team, ethnographic approach offer? Anthropology and Medicine, 26 (1). pp. 48-64. ISSN 1364-8470

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Abstract

In recent years, there has been growing emphasis on the need to develop ways of capturing ‘complexity’ in the evaluation of health initiatives in order to produce better evidence about ‘how’ and under what conditions such interventions work. Used alone, conventional methods of evaluation that attempt to reduce intervention processes and outcomes to a small number of discrete and finite variables, are typically not well suited to this task. Among the research community there have been increasing calls to take more seriously qualitative methods as an alternative or complementary approach to intervention evaluation. Ethnography has been identified as being particularly well suited to the purpose of capturing the full messiness that ensues when health interventions are introduced into complex settings (or systems). In this paper we reflect on our experience of taking a long term multi-site, multi team, ethnographic approach to capture complex, dynamic system processes in the first phase of an evaluation of a major area-based community empowerment initiative being rolled out in 150 neighbourhoods in England. We consider the utility of our approach for capturing the complexity inherent to understanding the changes that ensue when the initiative is delivered into multiple diverse contexts/systems as well as the opportunities and challenges that emerge in the research process.

Item Type: Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title: Anthropology and Medicine
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Anthropology and Medicine on 26/06/2019, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13648470.2018.1508639
Uncontrolled Keywords: /dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3314
Subjects:
Departments: Faculty of Health and Medicine > Health Research
ID Code: 135441
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 30 Aug 2019 08:40
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2019 05:17
URI: https://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/135441

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